welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: president trump reignites his public feud with his own intelligence agencies, and the media, over the resignation of his national security adviser. he also seems to have changed decades of american foreign policy in the middle east, with one sentence to the visiting israeli prime minister. police arrest a second woman in connection with the killing of the north korean leader's half—brother, in malaysia. a helicopter pilot is killed, hundreds of homes in southern new zealand are evacuated, as wildfires burn out of control. hello. the day in washington began with another full—blown twitter attack from the president on his own intelligence agencies and the media.
the subject of mr trump's anger — reports, based on security sources, that his team had frequent contacts with russian intelligence during the election, just as the russians were being accused of trying to influence the election. later, israel's prime minister was at the white house, trying to make the middle east, not russia, the centre of attention. this from our north america editorjon sopel. these are not the best of times. not yet four weeks in, his travel ban has been blocked, his national security adviser has been fired, and the questions about his links with russia are piling up. and when the president is angry, the place he vents is on twitter, and, boy, did he let rip this morning. and, on the reporting of this:
the president of the united states, and the prime minister of israel. at his news conference with the israeli prime minister, no mention of concerns about links with russia, and you would never have guessed that it was the president who had forced general flynn's resignation. michael flynn, general flynn, is a wonderful man. i thinks he's been treated very, very unfairly by the media. as i call it, the fake media, in many cases. and i think it's really a sad thing, that he was treated so badly. i think, in addition to that, from intelligence, papers are being leaked, things are being leaked. it's criminal action, criminal act. but on capitol hill, there is one central concern among senior republicans and democrats. it is the administration's links to the russian government.
the base issue is getting to the bottom of what the russian interference was, and what the relationship was, with associates of the trump effort. and so that is the big elephant in the room, that has got to be dealt with in the most appropriate way. the american people need to understand, we need to understand, and it needs to be dealt with quickly. so this is what we know. on isjanuary, the vice president went on television to deny that russian sanctions had been discussed in those phone calls. on 26 january, the acting attorney—general tells the white house, actually, they were. that is when the president was informed. but it wasn't until 9 february, when the story was about to break in the press, that vice president mike pence was told. that means he was deliberately kept in the dark for over two weeks. and listen to the president last friday. i don't know about it, i haven't seen it. what report is that? and this was his spokesman yesterday seeking to explain that discrepancy. what he was asked specifically is, was he aware of a washington post
story? he hadn't seen that at the time. of course he was involved. ijust said that he was aware of the situation, right after the white house council informed him, back injanuary. it is hard to avoid the conclusion that this is an administration that is reeling. just take donald trump's controversial travel ban. he announced at the end of last week there would be a new executive order on monday or tuesday to replace it. it is now wednesday. there has been nothing. work is not getting done because of the turmoil. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. earlier i spoke to paul farhi, media reporter with the washington post, and i played devil's advocate, saying the media has over hyped the stumblings of a new administration, and this is not watergate. well, it's not necessarily watergate, but we've never seen anything quite like this in washington, certainly in the 28
years i've been in washington. no administration has gotten off to a start quite like this, and no administration seems quite as flummoxed by all of the events that keep coming out, and all of the leaks that keep coming out. this is unprecedented. we're in new territory. so where do you think it goes, where do you think it ends up? i mean, the president has a point, doesn't he? this media turmoil is stopping him getting thejob done, to some extent. well, i disagree with that. the media turmoil is simply reporting the facts that are known within the administration, and we in the media are certainly grateful for the people who are leaking the information to us. i think the american public should be grateful for it, too, because we are getting a look at possibly criminality, but certainly incompetence, within the administration. and, you know, we're a democracy, we have a right
to know those things. so i don't think we should — i think there actually should be some congratulations in order, not any condemnation. you know you can talk to people within the administration who say, yes, laws may have been bent, but relations with russia could hardly have been worse than they were under the obama administration. something had to be done, so we talked to the russians. we needed to talk to the russians. well, yes, if that's all it was, and all it was was an attempt to create better relations, i think everyone in america would be in favour of that. but there is a sinister undercurrent of this, that we don't know the extent of. what were the campaign officials and the trump campaign talking about with their russian contacts? what was paul manafort‘s role, what was flynn's role in talking with the russian ambassador? what were they saying, who directed them, and what did the president know? and, in so far as being a reference to watergate, the question back in the watergate days is, what did the president know, and when did he know it?
i think you have the same question afoot right now. president trump has lost another cabinet nominee, just days after his national security adviser was obliged to resign. his choice for labour secretary, andrew puzder, has said he no longer wishes to be considered for the job. his withdrawal had been anticipated. there has been widespread opposition to him, even within mr trump's own party, and several potentially damaging allegations. our correspondent david willis gave me more details. andrew puzder was the president's choice for the labour secretary position, and that is a position which basically oversees the rights of workers in the workplace. and mr puzder is the head of a company which runs fast food franchises. now, this is a company which has resisted increases in overtime pay, resisted increases in the minimum wage, resisted calls for paid sick
leave, and so on. basically, nearly all the workplace benefits and rights that come under the purview, if you like, of the us labour department. on top of that, it was revealed that he and his wife had been hiring an undocumented worker as their housekeeper for the last five years, without paying taxes on her salary, and that mr puzder‘s ex—wife accused him of domestic abuse several decades ago, and actually went on the oprah winfrey programme to talk about this. now, she has since withdrawn those allegations. but mr trump's nominees for cabinet positions have faced some difficult, contentious hearings at times. but andrew puzder‘s was a step too far, it seems, for some senate republicans. and it became clear a few hours ago
that he wasn't going to get the votes he needed at that confirmation hearing tomorrow, so he has decided to withdraw his name. the mystery surrounding the death of the north korean leader's half—brother has ta ken a bizarre twist. pyongyang has now asked for the body of a man believed to be kimjong—nam, and said it doesn't want an autopsy. malaysian authorities have so far refused to comply. in fact, the autopsy has taken place, though the results haven't been released. kim jong—nam was at the kuala lumpur international airport when he was reportedly poisoned. police there have two female suspects in custody. karishma vaswani reports. is this one of the female assassins who carried out an audacious attack at kuala lumpur airport? these cctv images have been released by media in malaysia. they say a vietnamese woman has been detained in the investigation. and they want to find out what happened to this man. kim jong—nam is the older half—brother of north korean leader
kim jong—un. he is believed to have been killed in an apparent poisoning attack on monday. he visited malaysia often, but the details of his death are murky. between the hours of 9:00am to 10:00am in the morning on monday, the man believed to be kimjong—nam was attacked in this crowded, busy airport. police say that he was accosted by at least one woman, who covered his face with a cloth filled with some sort of burning chemical. after that, he is thought to have walked over to that information counter over there, to ask for help, and was taken to a medical clinic at the airport, just one floor down. one man who some believe may have wanted kim jong—nam dead is the north korean leader. kim jong—un took part in a rally to mark what would have been his father's 75th birthday.
experts say he is in the midst of a purge campaign to get rid of any threat he sees to his grip on power. no—one is safe, not even close uncle jang sung—taek, who was branded a "traitor for all ages" and executed in 2013. in the small world of pyongyang politics, maybe it does help him to have him dead. it's nevertheless a telling reflection on the regime that, in 2017, you are still executing possible rival members of the royal family. it's a habit that england got out of after the tudors. north korea's staunch enemy, south korea, insists that kim jong—nam was brutally murdered on the orders of the north korean regime. translation: the government is certainlyjudging that the murdered person is kim jong—nam. since this case is still being investigated, we should wait for details until the malaysian government makes an announcement. the focus of the investigation will now move to a hospital in the malaysian capital, where a postmortem is now
being performed on the body of the man believed to be kimjong—nam. north korea has asked for the body to be returned, a request malaysia has refused. in other news: the us senate has voted to block legislation passed under president obama which would have prevented some people with a mental illness from buying firearms. the regulation strengthening background checks was introduced in the wake of the sandy hook elementary school shooting five years ago, in which 26 pupils and staff were killed. the border agency of the european union, frontex, says the number of migrants arriving decreased in 2016 by 17%. the main reason is last yea r‘s by 17%. the main reason is last year's deal between the eu and turkey on returning migrants, and stricter controls in the western balkans. iraqi officials say a suicide bomber
in a car packed with explosives has killed at least 1a people in baghdad. dozens of others were wounded. the blast went off in the sadr city area, a poor, densely populated, and mainly shia suburb. the world health organization has declared an end to a yellow fever outbreak in angola and the democratic republic of congo which killed almost 400 people. angola declared its outbreak over in december last year, and the congolese authorities made their announcement on tuesday. the who said more than 30 million people were vaccinated in emergency campaigns in the two countries. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: the british photographer who after nearly losing his sight is still documenting the conflict in ukraine. nine years and 15,000 deaths after going into afghanistan, the last soviet troops were finally coming home. the withdrawal completed in good order, but the army defeated in the task it had been sent to perform. malcolm has been murdered. it has a terrible effect on the morale of the people, i'm terrified of the
repercussions in the streets. one wonders who is next. as the airlift got under way, there was no letup in the eruption itself. lava streams from a vent low in the crater flowed down to the sea on the east of the island, away from the town for the time being, but it could start flowing again at any time. the russians heralded their new generation space station with a spectacular night launch. they've called it mir, russian for peace. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: president trump reignites a public feud with his own intelligence agencies over the resignation of his national security adviser. north korea asks malaysia to hand
over the body of a man thought to be kim jong—nam, the half—brother of north korea's leader. two people are in custody. there was a moment in president trump's news conference with the israeli prime minister that appeared to undo decades of american foreign policy in the middle east. mr trump suggested the us would no longer favour a palestinian state, the so—called two—state solution, which for so long was seen as the best hope of any peace settlement between israel and the palestinians. the president was also asked about the sharp rise in anti—semitic incidents in the us. he talked once again about his election victory, his numbers in the electoral college. this report from our middle east editor, jeremy bowen. when mr and mrs netanyahu arrived at the white house there seemed to be real warmth. the israeli prime minister certainly hopes so. he had a sour relationship with president obama and wants this visit to be a new start. before he was elected president, mr trump seemed ready to give israel a blank cheque on the palestinians. mr netanyahu authorised thousands more homes forjews in the occupied territories in defiance of international law within days
of mr trump's inauguration. but now he's in the white house, the president has changed his tune. he sees himself as america's greatest deal—maker and seems to believe he can make the deal between israel and the palestinians that evaded the last four american presidents. but that, he said, means give and take. as far as settlements, i'd like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit. we'll work something out. but i would like to see a deal be made. i think a deal will be made. as with any successful negotiation, both sides will have to make compromises. you know that, right? both sides. but in a middle east that is often chaotic, mr netanyahu sees opportunities. for the first time in my lifetime, and for the first time in the life of my country, arab countries in the region do not see israel as an enemy, but increasingly as an ally. and that's because israel
and the arab states in the gulf have a common enemy. it's iran. it's seen as a big threat in the region by the governments in the region and the us. but other arab countries of the gulf are also suspicious of the iranians. prompting that talk of a broader regional deal. now, among these are smaller nations, such as bahrain and the united arab emirates and among them crucially is iran's main regional rival, saudi arabia. israel has settled 600,000 jews on occupied land palestinians want for a state. israeli right—wingers do not like president trump's call to stop expanding settlements. they prefer his backing away
from a two—state solution an independent palestine alongside israel. many people on the ground believe the likeliest outcome is no solution at all. jeremy bowen, bbc news. thousands of people have taken to the streets of paris to show their support for a young black man who says he was raped by police. there's been growing tension in some of the city's suburbs since the 22—year—old was arrested and allegedly assaulted. one police officer has been charged with rape, and three others with assault. and as lucy williamson reports from paris, the president's appeal for calm is not being heeded. anger is spreading along france's urban veins. tonight, chants of "police, rapists, murderers" rung outjust south of the sacre coeur. this is a protest about power. the power of individuals, their community, the state. france has been living with it for years, but in the last fortnight the story of theo's assault in a rundown paris suburb
has reignited it. there are long—standing divisions rising to the surface here. the deepest anger in these protests has come from people who say they feel ignored and left behind. who feel that the french establishment is remote and those in power abusive, corrupt and self—serving. the names of other young men who died while being chased or arrested in the suburbs north of paris are repeated like a mantra of mistrust in the police. they want us to just shut up, ok? they don't want us to express in any shape or form of protest, ok? and that's how i feel about it. it's not like they're here to protect us. they're just here to shut us down. over the past two weeks,
the protests have grown, spreading to rouen, lyon, marseille. this is no longer a case of one man, in one paris suburb. it's a reminder of france's deep divisions, and a test of the trust between people and power. lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. emergency services are battling a wildfire in new zealand which is burning out of control on the outskirts of the city of christchurch. hundreds of people have been evacuated and several homes destroyed. sarah corker has more. changing winds have made the fire is unpredictable and fanned the flames. the wildfires are now disturbingly close to communities in christchurch. tens of thousands of homes are without electricity and more than a50 properties have been evacuated. it's running. i wouldn't say it's out of control because we have resources working on it but it is heavy material and once it gets burning it hard to stop.
on the ground fire breaks have been dug. new zealand's military deployed to help. from the air, 15 helicopters worked in difficult conditions, filling up on water from a nearby river. one pilot died when his helicopter crashed on tuesday. it started in the port hills district earlier this week, but spread rapidly overnight. those evacuated face an anxious wait. we've been up pretty much all night since we got evacuated and keeping an eye on it. my neighbours up the hill are absolutely terrified because they're surrounded by forest and gauze and long, dry grass so they're very very nervous. across the region, unusually dry conditions have been persisted for three years. officials say in some areas blames are up to 20 metres high and several properties have been destroyed. sarah corker, bbc news.
let's go to ukraine now to hear the story of chris nunn, a british photographer who, while working in eastern ukraine, was nearly blinded in one eye when the apartment he was in was hit by a shell. his friend, a ukrainian woman, whose apartment it was, was killed in the blast. chris has given his first interview to our correspondent in ukraine, tom burridge. the vision in chris nunn's left eye is gradually coming back. i can see waving your hand like this. chris has covered the war in eastern ukraine as a photographer for two and a half years. but when he and his colleague visited a friend's flat earlier this month, a shell landed outside. i remember, the whistle and the explosion and i remember everything going yellow, this bright light. i rememberjust checking to see if i had arms and legs and hands and i was try to check my face. just moments before,
with the electricity out, chris recorded the fighting from his friend elena's apartment. this selfie is one of the last pictures of her alive. itjust makes you understand the fragility of life out there, that things can just happen, just like that. we met her family grieving the following day. elena leaves her son, who is nine. i actually saw his mum dying. i have a daughter also, and when we feel better with chris, we will go and speak to them about how we can help her son. elena had lived here in the city of avdiivka. it is controlled by ukraine's army. it is where fighting with russian backed separatists recently flared up again. the explosion outside elena's apartment blasted this tiny fragment
of plastic into chris nunn's eyeball. so this is your actual operation. his doctor showed us video of the five—hour operation he performed to remove it and rebuild chris‘ eye. getting him quickly to one of ukraine's top hospitals was crucial for preventing him being blind in one eye. translation: if we had lost time, there would have been a 99% chance of him losing his sight completely. that's why we had to do the work in the first hours. we managed to extract the plastic and restore his retina. by the morning, chris was able to count my fingers. chris says he wants to keep photographing the people whose lives are trapped in the warzone of eastern ukraine. he's raising money for elena's family and he is lucky. the doctors think his full sight will return one day. tom burridge, bbc news, dnipro in eastern ukraine. a plane struck a deer while it was taking off
from an airport in north carolina. the american eagle flight landed safely after aborting a flight to mississippi. emergency personnel sprayed foam on the plane, it was found to be leaking fuel. no injuries were reported amongst the 44 passengers. and before we go, let's take a look at these pictures. it's steak, served rare, for a very special guest. rumour, a german shepherd, was hand—fed steak from a silver platter at a new york restaurant. it's her reward for being named best in show at the westminster kennel club dog show, competing against 2,800 other dogs on tuesday. rumour‘s owner said she going to be retired from shows and will probably start breeding. in the house of clergy, 93 in favour, 100 against, thank you for watching. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter. i'm @bbcmikeembley.
hello. wednesday was a real mixed bag of a day right across the british isles. for some, after a dull start, it turned out to be a really glorious day, dare i say, almost springlike. for others, my word, you had to wait. eventually in the east some saw some brightness after a thoroughly miserable day. it depended on where you were in relation to the weather front which started life in the south—west and moved ever further to the north—east. into the channel islands, eventually brighter skies into the south—east. it won't be a cold start to the day. given all the cloud around, the front has not quite disappeared. we still have a vigourous area of low pressure close by to the north of scotland to start that day. notice the isobars squeezing together. that could well signify some gusts of wind around 30, if not a0 miles per hour to start off the day. and you will have some rain and blustery showers, especially so in northern and western parts of scotland, and maybe the odd bit close by in northern ireland. the odd rogue shower
getting across the border into the north of england. further south, some brightness in the heart of wales, the midlands, towards east anglia into lincolnshire. further south, again, lots of cloud around and quite a bit of hill fog. that will give you a grey and murky start. that will take some time before it lifts away. but things improving widely in the greater part of england and wales. rain returning to northern ireland eventually push into the north—west of wales. maybe the odd shower may getting into the south—western parts of england and scotland. all the while, the breeze will be noticeable in northern areas. the top temperatures, 10—11 degrees or so on the day. and that's a trend we'll see continuing on into the weekend. that puts us above the average for the time of year, closer to eight or nine depending on where you are. through the course of the evening and overnight, a ribbon of cloud going across the irish sea into the north of england. then, come friday, it will leave behind a tail of cloud south—west to it diagonally, the best
of the brightness on either side. on into the weekend, staying mild. there will be some sunny intervals around. quite a bit of cloud as well. rain at times, especially in the north. this is how we start the weekend. quite a few isobars. so, breezy. this weather front will weaken as we go further south. it's this area of cloud and rain that gives that wet prospect for northern areas. the latest headlines from bbc news. my name's mike embley. president trump has re—ignited his public feud with his own intelligence agencies and the media over the resignation of his national security adviser. he has dismissed reports based on security sources that his team had frequent contacts with russian intelligence during the election. the president has also has changed decades of american foreign policy
in the middle east. mr trump suggested to the visiting israeli prime minister that the us no longer regards a palestinian state alongside israel, the so—called two—state solution, as the best hope of a peace settlement. police in malaysia have detained a woman in connection with the death of kimjong—nam, the half—brother of the north korean leader. the dead man is believed to have been poisoned as he waited to board a flight in kuala lumpur. the government in north korea has asked malaysia to hand over the body.